USA Ousted in the Quarter Finals of the FIBA World Cup, Fall to France
The Americans entered the FIBA World Cup looking beatable and on Wednesday morning, it happened.
After seeing their 58-game international win streak halted during pre-tournament play by the Australians, Team USA had an up-and-down World Cup run which included a couple of dominant performances, but also some head scratchers. A nail-biting overtime finish against Turkey was the first moment when the Americans looked beatable during the tournament itself and on Wednesday it all came to a crashing end with an 89-79 loss to the French national squad.
Led by 22 points from Evan Fournier and a 21 points and 16 rebound performance from Rudy Gobert, the French proved to be too much for the Americans to handle.
“We came here to win gold,” Gobert said following the win. “We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. A lot of people counted us out, but we got the win.”
For Toronto Raptors fans keeping score, Nando de Colo – a former NBA player whose bird rights belong to the Raptors – scored 18 points for France in the win.
On the American side, Donovan Mitchell was the lone bright spot for USA, scoring 29 points in the loss.
The loss marks the end of the most disappointing run in the USA Basketball program’s history. The Summer began with a plethora of big names opting out of the opportunity to suit up for the national team, leaving the likes of Mason Plumlee and Brook Lopez as the remaining options. What followed was a string of disappointing performances on the friendly and the tournament stage.
Similar to the situation Canada Basketball is set to deal with, Jerry Colangelo and Gregg Popovich will have to put in the grunt work to bring more star to Tokyo for the 2020 Olympic.